I wanted to take this time to recap what has been going on for the past few years, and what led up to Machine World 2. I also want to adress some questions that might arise from long time fans, specifically “What about Machine World 1, and why is Machine World 2 not launching for iOS first?”.
Short TLDR (Too Long, Did not Read) summary: Creating Machine World 2 for Mac/PC first is a Good Thing for everyone, iOS fans included. Trust me.
Long version follows now…
As you may recall, Machine World 1 was released in early 2012, mostly the result of my young son really being into construction machines, and myself finding them cool as well. So, I brought to bear some resources and experience from the main business of Trino to create a machine sandbox app, which became Machine World.
The success of Machine World was quite unexpected, but a pleasant surprise. It turned out there were others like us, who liked cool machines and wanted the freedom to play around with them and build stuff.
We worked quite hard on Machine World for a couple of years, expanding and improving on it. It was a very simple app when first released, but over the first year we added construction features and more detailed deformable terrain. It became a cool little app which was in many ways way ahead of its time back then.
But, starting out like it did, it had limitations. The technology used for Machine World 1 had limits, and expanding on it became harder as we at Trino and you, the players, wanted more advanced features. At a certain point we realized that we would have to undertake some fairly massive rewrites of the core technology to make even cooler stuff happen.
This is where economics enter into the equation. Machine World 1 had been doing quite well, but all products have a life curve. Around and in the time following release, a game usually earns most of its revenue, with revenue trailing off as time goes on. The so called “long tail”, the length of which varies from product to product. MW1 sustained sales for quite some time, and to this date is still selling relatively well. However, those sales did not sustain massive upgrades to the game in itself.
This left us with only two choices: Introduce In App Payments, or create a new product. These two choices are the only ones, since Apple does not offer the possibility of a paid upgrade to apps. We really do not like In App Purchases, which we have discussed previously over the years. I personally feel that after I have spent money on a game, I do not want to have to worry about money again while playing.
Well, there is subscriptions as an option as well, but making a game a subscription product is even worse in my humble option. My goal was to simply offer an experience for a set price and the leave players free to just enjoy it without the game trying to get more money out of the player.
So, at that point it was clear that the next thing had to be a new game. Had to be since we have to be able to recoup the money we spend developing a game or content, otherwise we would be going out of business.
So, why the choice to target PC/Mac platforms first? Maturity, basically. When we went over the player requests, and our own vision for Machine World, it became clear that at that point in time, 2014, iOS devices did not have the required power to pull it off. Also, we definitely did not want to end up in the same situation again as with Machine World 1, where we had technology that was difficult to scale upwards. So the plan set into motion was to develop new core technology that was advanced enough to pull off all the features we wanted, and making sure that it could scale down to mobile hardware.
So what you see in Machine World 2 today is technology that can scale to increase detail for more advanced hardware, as well as scale back to run well on less powerful computers and devices. This leaves us with one “code base” capable of all that, which makes development much quicker and easier.
So, will there be a Machine World 2 for iOS? If everything goes to plan, then definitely, that is the plan. And we hope to make that happen relatively soon as well.
But in the meantime, I hope you support and enjoy Machine World 2. It has been a few years in the making and taken a tremendous effort. We hope that you will like it.
Lead Developer and Owner of Trino Games.